By Fiorella Kis-Major
As event facilitators, there is a lot for us to consider when planning the perfect soulful, yet value for money event. However, I’d like you to spare a thought now for your attendees. They may be visiting an unfamiliar part of the city, or another state/country entirely. There is usually a battle to get through peak hour traffic and then find a parking spot nearby, or public transport to navigate through. Perhaps they’re coming after work, had to organize a baby sitter, or just had a big day. Nerves can arise around being in a room with new people, and whether they will have to interact with their neighbor, especially if they came alone.
The truth is, our modern day lives usually involve juggling a million things at once – the act of arriving at your event has a lifetime of stories behind it for your clients. The ancient yogi’s called this Chitta Vritti, or ‘monkey mind’ - our minds love nothing more than jumping around from thought to thought. If your event promotes any kind of self-development, there can be a load of resistance and terror in the mind of your guest (even once they’ve already bought the ticket).
You don’t have to be a meditation teacher to soothe their transition from arriving, into being totally present in the room. Here are 4 techniques you can use to gently guide them to remove their baggage, and leave it at the front door:
1. Be there when your guests arrive
Even if you have a team of life saving helpers on the day of the event, I would encourage you to be there at the start to meet everyone. Your smile, eye contact and acknowledgement (even a hug!) can mean the world to someone who might be nervous and unsure of what to expect.
2. The power of visualisation
Once seated, ask your attendees to gently close their eyes, or gaze softly at the floor - placing their palms face down on their laps. From here, suggest that they start to see the story of how they arrived to the venue to trickle out of their mind… up through their ears… down their shoulders… their arms… their fingers… their legs… and down into the earth. Leave them here at the end for about a minute in stillness – you’d be surprised how powerful this can be!
3. Feel your feet
If you have a tight schedule, and don’t have the spare 5 minutes or so to run through the visualization above, ask your guests to feel their feet. I mean really feel their feet. Run through each part of the foot, and ask them to imagine that energy going all the way down, as far down as they can imagine, into the earth. Then imagining that energy coming all the way back up to the top of their heads. There is no better way to have a totally present, grounded audience!
4. Just breathe
Another simple yet very effective tool is for them to connect with their natural breath. No mantras, no counting patterns – just breathing. Ask them to close their eyes, and place their hands on their belly. As they inhale, the belly will rise. As they exhale, the belly will fall. Encourage them to make these breaths as deep as possible. Repeat this about 5 times. After this, they can take one final breath, and truly let the story of arrival go with a sigh… ahhhhhh…!
As the founder and owner of The Nourishing Goddess, Fiorella Kis-Major provides heart felt services as a Yoga & Meditation Teacher, Wellness Coach, Writer and Speaker.
Fiorella’s mission is for self-care and wellness to be seen as a necessity, not a luxury, in the life of every woman.
Image credits belong to Fiorella Kis-Major and Event Head//Kate Di Blasi Photography